Tesco is offering quiet hour- once in a week- for helping customers with autistic children who struggle on shopping trips. During the quiet hour lights are dimmed, music is switched off, store maps are provided for shoppers and a special checkout is available to help adults and children with autism. Autistic people often feel discomfort when being exposed to too much of noise, people and lights.
Autism figures have increased in thirty years from affecting one in 500 to one in every 100 now. Autistic people who are having difficulty in coping up with modern life can benefit from the supermarket’s decision to introduce special shopping hours. People coping with autism can also feel more comfortable in an environment that better suit their condition.
Emma Castle, mother of an autistic child said: “It’s hard because of the noise, the people, the lights. Everything is quite challenging, he’ll run off, climb over everything.”
Gary Powis, manager of the Tesco said “We really want to do anything within the community where we can. That’s part of the job we do and this is a prime example of small changes that make a big difference.”
Jo-Ann D’Costa Manuel, from Autism Parent Power, said “We’ve had thousands of families across the UK contact us to say: can we have this in our store because this is what we need, we’ve been crying out for it for years, and to see it actually come to life, and actually not be such a strain to Tesco, but make a huge difference to the families is a phenomenal success I think.”